The political persuasions of the three million minority ethnic voters in Britain has been revealed – and it isn't good news for the Labour party.
A report by think tank British Future shows that 33 per cent of black, Asian and ethnic minority ethnic (BAME) voters supported the Conservatives in the last general election, a new record for the party which has struggled to appeal to BAME voters in the past.
And although more than half (52 per cent) voted Labour, the gap between the two main parties is closing - particularly among Asian voters.
The Liberal Democrats and the Green Party took five per cent of the vote from BAME voters each, with Ukip struggling on only two per cent.
The SNP only got 1.2 per cent of the ethnic minority vote, probably owing to Scotland's smaller population and high ethnic homogeneity.
Ethnic minority support for the Conservatives was especially high in the south of England, at 40 per cent. This figure fell to a low of 26 per cent in the North.
Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future, said:
“Ethnic minority votes are more ‘up for grabs’ than ever before. While David Cameron clearly took a lot of votes from the Lib Dems in the election, he also seems to have extended his party’s appeal to ethnic minority voters too."
“Labour remains ahead with minority voters, but the party may have won too many of its minority votes in the wrong places electorally – doubling majorities in heartland urban seats that were already safe but slipping in the southern marginals.
The parties also found divisions amongst religious lines - the survey found that Muslims were by far the most likely religious group to vote for Labour, and the least likely to vote Conservative.
64 per cent of Muslims voted Labour, compared to only 25 per cent for Conservative. Ethnic minority Christians also supported Labour.
Hindus and Sikhs, however, were both more likely to vote Conservative, with 49 per cent of both groups voting Conservative, compared to 41 per cent who voted Labour. However, the Sikh poll was conducted on a small sample of 63 people, making the results less reliable.
British Future's poll also found differences in voting amongst different minority groups - 67 per cent of black people voted for Labour, compared to only 21 per cent for the Conservatives.
However, the Conservatives will be encouraged by the fact that they are closing the gap amongst British Asians - 38 per cent of Asian voters went for the Conservatives, compared to 50 for Labour.
Sunder Katwala said: "The middle-England ‘Mondeo Man’ of the 2015 election could well be a British Asian.”
It's still a large gap, but it shows that the Conservatives are performing well amongst a group that they have not traditionally enjoyed large levels of support amongst.
The British Future poll is the largest survey of ethnic minority voters published since the election, but still only provides a snapshot.
However, the think tank said that the results echo trends that were seen before the election, showing Conservative advances and less partisan Labour support amongst ethnic minorities.
The poll, which was conducted by Survation for British Future, surveyed over 2,000 BAME respondents across the country during the week following the election.
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